DETROIT -- Eric Mack does a terrific job writing our major league Power Rankings each week, but I've got to admit something: While I read them each week, I don't wind up carrying any single one of them around with me in my work bag (sorry, E-Mack).
I do, however, carry around a different sort of Power Rankings everywhere I go. A little less than three years ago, GQ magazine ranked the "20 hamburgers you must eat before you die." Being that a good cheeseburger is still one of this life's great joys, I tore out the list long ago and filed it in my computer bag.
Which is why I was sitting in Miller's Bar (no relation) in Dearborn, Mich., at lunchtime the other day munching on two cheeseburgers before driving downtown to Comerica Park. GQ had Miller's ranked No. 8 in its burger list, I was staying in Dearborn so ... it was a no-brainer. And what a lunch. The burgers were big and juicy, and the cheese and bun both stuck onto the meat as if the trio was meant for each other. It's Velveeta cheese which, isn't necessarily gourmet, but you want a cheese that melts well on the burger, and it was delicious.
There are no windows in Miller's -- it's like blocky and solid, like a fort. And there are no plates -- the burgers arrive on wax paper. It's a beautiful sight.
No. 1 on the list is the Sirloin Burger from Le Tub in Hollywood, Fla. Been there several times, eaten several burgers (outstanding) and it's my favorite place in Florida. It's right on the Intracoastal waterway and the view is outstanding.
So far, I've only hit those two of the 20 on the list. Pretty much an average as paltry as that of the Tigers right now, I know. But part of it is this: There are a few burgers in the rankings that I just don't have much of an interest in.
The California Burger at Houston's in Santa Monica, Calif. (No. 6)? Maybe it's great. But sorry, I don't have an interest in avocado and arugula on my burger.
The Buckhorn Burger at Buckhorn in San Antonio, N.M.? I'm sure it's grand, but green chilis on a burger don't do it for me.
Besides, there's no major-league team in New Mexico, so I don't know when I'd be there anyway. But there is a major-league club in Seattle (well, it isn't playing like one right now), so the Double Bacon Deluxe with Cheese at Red Mill Burgers (No. 17) might be a go sometime soon.
And the Phillies will be worth checking out, so perhaps the Rouge Burger at Rouge in Philadelphia, or the Kobe Sliders at Barclay Prime (No. 5), also in Philly, might make it onto my lineup card.
Hey, this list is one reason I hold onto my computer bag so tightly. My notebooks filled with various interviews for upcoming columns? Heck, I can replace those.
Likes: The Florida Marlins spending $70 million on Hanley Ramirez? Be still, my heart. And the word is, if the Marlins are still contending near the July 31 trade deadline, they may spend some dough to get some help. ... Steve Lopez's terrific book The Soloist. Lopez is a metro columnist for the Los Angeles Times, and the book follows a homeless man who plays the violin and cello on the street. The man, Nathanial Ayers, once was a music prodigy at Juilliard in New York and was the subject of several Lopez columns. It is one terrific read. ... The prospect of getting to my local CD store in the very near future and picking up several things on my list, including Mudcrutch, the new Rolling Stones Shine a Light disc and a few other things.
Dislikes: Don't tell me Toronto's Vernon Wells is going to miss several more weeks again this year. He is? Damn.
Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"We weren't in love, oh no, far from it
"We weren't searchin' for some pie in the sky summit
"We were just young and restless and bored
"Livin by the sword"
-- Bob Seger, Night Moves